Questions tagged [formality]

is for questions about whether a word or phrase is considered formal or informal. Be sure to include as much context as you can, because sometimes how formal or informal a word or phrase is can be different in different situations.

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4
votes
3answers
40k views

Is using "I am writing to" in an email considered too formal or old-fashioned?

I have seen in a letter writing textbook (also many websites like this) while preparing for my English test that we should begin a letter like this : Dear ..., I am writing to ... I have not ...
0
votes
1answer
16k views

Email Subject - Is it correct to write "Regarding xyz......." in the email subject?

Whenever I write an email to someone...I usually write "Regarding" in the subject. Is it a formal way to write email subject. Examples:- "Regarding application for the post of product manager" "...
7
votes
1answer
13k views

Phrase Usage:- "Works like a Charm", can it be used formally?

I have seen many people using the phrase "It works like a charm"....when they are asked about , how something is working/going on. Is it a correct way to use it in business communication. For Example:...
2
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2answers
9k views

Thanks vs Thank you vs Thank you so much? [closed]

What is the correct way to say "thanks" to anyone in any situation? Does it make any difference depending on context or situation?
5
votes
2answers
156k views

"Is it okay for you?" Is this phrase considered formal in school/college setting?

If I emailed my teacher: I've said that I can stay after school to make up the test, but I found out that I have a band rehersal tomorrow. Is it okay for you if I take it on wednesday after school ...
0
votes
2answers
901 views

What is the meaning of 'like' in this sentence?

I think that 'like' in this sentence means 'about'. Then, what is the difference between 'like' and 'about'?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

'a narrow vocabulary' versus 'a restricted vocabulary': do both collocations exist? which is commoner?

Do both collocations 'a narrow vocabulary' and 'a restricted vocabulary' exist? And if they do, which is commoner/more common?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Is know-how informal?

I would like to use the word "know-how" in my letter of application. (I don't want to use "experience" as a replacement because I have used it before, therefore it wouldn't sound nice.) Can I use it ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

Formal way of asking "Don't we need to?"

What phrase should be used in place of "Don't we need to" in a formal letter? Example situation: Boss sent a mail indicating that some data is to be updated in chart A. The reply is like "I have ...
3
votes
4answers
45k views

Formal way of asking- "what's your name"?

I would like to ask "what's your name" in a formal way. I want the equivalent in English of "¿como se llama (usted)?" Spanish question. I think that "What's your name?" is similar to how I might ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Based on personal communication with

I want to cite some information I received by asking the transportation agency in Halle. My supervisor said I should write it as with communication with So I have the following sentence: Based on ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

"A lot of" or "lots of"

I was wondering which one of the following sentences is most appropriate: I have been provided with a lot of information. I have been provided with lots of information.
1
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2answers
3k views

Is 'good evening' more formal than 'good night'?

I'm confused about these two sentences, I do not know if 'good evening' is more formal than 'good night'.
4
votes
2answers
871 views

What are the differences between 'need' and 'have need of'?

Alida had need of company. Alida needed company. Please say what are the differences between these two sentences.
9
votes
1answer
7k views

Use "got" or "have got"?

Could you please tell me if you got some time to read the report? In this sentence, I have to use got or have got ? what is the difference between these two w.r.t. the meaning of the sentence?
6
votes
4answers
19k views

What is the difference between 'Bad English' and 'Poor English'?

Is there any difference between 'Bad English' and 'Poor English'? If yes, when I should use them?
0
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2answers
2k views

Is it "it is", or is it "it's? [closed]

My English teacher says to use "it is" instead of "it's" and "do not" instead of "don't" because it is more formal. For example, I can say I have a toy plane, and it is blue. Do not touch it. or ...
8
votes
2answers
46k views

“Both you and he are very happy” or "Both you and him are very happy"?

It's a sentence on a test paper: Both you and he are very happy. The sentence itself sounds awkward. Let's cast the awkwardness aside and look into the grammar. It's understandable that as part of ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the meaning of "less than delighted"?

This study evaluated the efficacy of a novel group intervention intended to increase the SWB of early adolescents who are less than delighted with their lives. Is it a typo in the text putting than ...
1
vote
1answer
427 views

"Hear! Hear!": AmE variations?

This is about the idiom "Hear(!)(,)Hear(!)" (1680s) used (ngram) to express approval during a speech for instance (AHDotEL, Collins, Cambridge, Century, Merriam Learners, Dictionary.com). It can be ...
0
votes
1answer
257 views

Repeated "to" in "to whom something is done to"? [duplicate]

Is there a rule for this? For example, is it correct to say To whom will the package be delivered? or does it have to be To whom will the package be delivered to? I'm sorry if this is a ...
0
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2answers
65 views

using contracted negatives

He did not only teach at school, he also wrote novels. In this sentence, should we use "didn't" instead of "did not"? Is it natural or common? Thanks a lot.
2
votes
1answer
15k views

Using idioms in formal writing

Many people say idioms are intrinsically informal and they should be avoided in formal texts. however, I have recently seen some idioms like "in spite of" or "to alter (something) beyond recognition" ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of the word 'sir'

As I guess, the word 'sir' is to call a man whose position is higher or whose age is older. For example like school principal (and I am a student of the school). And one day when I was watching a ...
0
votes
3answers
102 views

Is 'We'll have us a beer' acceptable in Standard English?

I heard sometimes to say 'we're going to have us a beer'. Is this correct? Should it be avoided in standard English? Is it only colloquial?
1
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3answers
5k views

It has been known since long time that / Since long, it has been known that [duplicate]

I need to start a sentence by saying that something has been known for a long time. What is the most elegant way of writing that? Two possibilities that come to my mind are: 1) It has been known ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Is "Steal my money if you can" acceptable in formal English?

Steal my money if you can. Is this a correct sentence to use in writing, or is it more appropriate to use in spoken English? I was involved in a conversation using English and they said my grammar ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

"I have" vs "I have got"

I don't know what is the difference between using "I have got" and "I have" For example: He's got broad shoulders. Is it possible to say: He has broad shoulders. If yes, so what is the ...
1
vote
1answer
221 views

Grammar doubts about dedication and aknowledgements sections of my thesis [closed]

I know proofreading is not allowed. Just have some specific questions. It's a dedication and aknowledgements sections of my thesis. Are these expressions common in English? I just did a direct ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Using I am all ears in a professional Email?

Before I ask the questions , here is a bit of context: I am planning to email few of our customers asking for their feedback. This is what I plan to write If you have any feature suggestion then ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Which version is correct and normally used, "between you and me" or "between you and I"?

I was listening to the song Superman by Eminem. I've listened it before many times but from the time I've started learning English grammar I am getting confused while reading or listening English. ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

apropos -- is this a common word in English?

apropos Is this word part of your active or passive vocabulary? Do you ever use it at all? If yes, could you please give me some real-world examples related to how one would use this word in ...
4
votes
1answer
8k views

Is it the formal writing to use double adverbs like "very very" or "really really"?

I am writing a letter, I want to mention a thing by using double adverbs. For instance, it is really really cool, it is very very nice. Something Like that, is it the formal writing or not?
0
votes
2answers
9k views

I have not heard from you lately / for a long time

I have not heard from you lately. Regards, ABC Is it formal to write "I have not heard from you lately," or it is better to write "I have not heard from you for a long time"?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Is tricky a formal word?

I am now writing a report which requires me to use formal, academic English...here's the question. I want to describe a task as more difficult, or more challenging than other ones. Can I use the word "...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

May I use 'Good job, sir' to appreciate my boss' work?

Somewhat, I feel it down using this sentence to our seniors, especially our boss. Good job, sir Or...for that sake.. Well done, sir I need natives' input for this. If I'm working for you/under ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is using "while" instead of "whereas" discouraged in academic writing?

Some time ago, I was participating in a course for academic paper writing in which the professor cautioned the students against using while instead of whereas. It was surprising for me; I supposed ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

"I don't have the car tomorrow."

My friend and colleague doesn't have a car but he often uses his dad's car; so when he drives to work he most frequently picks me up and we go together. Last night he texted me and said: "I don't ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

' being ' in participle clauses

According to the source " we can use an adverbial participle clause to express reason or cause as an alternative to a because/since/as clause. Using a participle clause in this way is more ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

Is 'for starters' formal or informal?

What is the formality level of the phrase "for starters"? Can I use it in formal letters?
2
votes
6answers
13k views

Slight nuance between 'fat', 'obese' and 'overweight'

Could someone please tell me about the nuances of the adjectives: Fat Obese Overweight The only difference which comes to my mind is their formality degree, where 'fat' is the most informal and '...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How formal is "and all that"?

How formal is it to say, e.g.,: You could do a lot with this item, like writing, drawing and all that. This may be an abbreviation of "and all that jazz", which means "and all that stuff; and all ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Are phrasal verbs almost always too informal to use in an academic writing?

I was reading an article on how to prove my writing and came across these example sentences given which sparked this question in my mind. The blog says that "use the word acquire instead of the ...
5
votes
2answers
16k views

'I am he' or 'I am him'?

I want to say that that person is me. But then, precisely, I want to keep the pronoun in place to add some spice and power to it! Otherwise, better choices are... That person is me/that's me, I'm that ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Does "affirmative" mean "yes"

One hears people in the movies say "Affirmative" when they are speaking on a telephone or on a walkie-talkie. Does this word mean "yes"? Can it be used instead of "yes"?
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Learning "register": are there any register-conflicts in this sentence

This text was written by coffee1054 in this question: We gonna show that there is no contradiction with Ohm's law. Is there any register-conflict in this sentence? Moved into the body of the ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

News on BBC today - What is “refuses to deny”?

I read a headline today on BBC that states: North Korea refuses to deny Sony Pictures cyber-attackSource: BBC News Asia, 2 December 2014 What is the exact meaning of "refuses to deny" and what ...
0
votes
3answers
7k views

"the hotel where you stayed" or "the hotel where you stayed at"

Which sentence is correct?   1.​ Did you like the hotel where you stayed? 2.​ Did you like the hotel where you stayed at? I am curious as to whether to use at or not.
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Excrement, faeces or poop?

In daily conversation, when we discuss/say about the baby excrement/faeces. Which word should we used? Excrement, faeces or poop?